Governor supports concept of Adult Survivors Act, and will work with New York lawmakers

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ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday that she supports the principle behind the so-called Adult Survivors Act — which would create new civil legal options for adult victims of sex crimes — but stopped short of saying she supported the bill in its current form.

“I look forward to working with the Legislature to achieve the objectives, but let’s look at the language specifically,” Hochul said.

The bill was modeled after the Child Victims Act, which created a temporary look back window for victims of child sex abuse to bring civil claims against their alleged abusers.

The Adult Survivors Act would do the same, but instead open a temporary legal window for victims of adult sex crimes.

The bill was approved last year in the State Senate, where it gained unanimous support. But Democrats in the State Assembly have yet to coalesce around the legislation, which has stalled its changes of coming to the floor for a vote.

The Adult Survivors Act was among several bills that lawmakers believed had the support to pass in 2021, but weren’t voted on by both houses. Others include several criminal justice measures such as the Clean Slate bill, Elder Parole, and Timely Parole.

Clean Slate would automatically seal a person’s conviction after they have finished parole, and a certain amount of time has passed. The bill does include exceptions for sex offenders.

The Elder Parole Bill would allow for people aged 55 or older to be released from prison if they have finished at least 15 years of their sentence, and are not an immediate danger to society.

The Fair and Timely Parole bill would require a person to be released from prison once their minimum sentence was served, unless the parole board deems them a danger to the public.

Hochul has voiced support for the Clean Slate Bill, but her positions on parole reform are less clear.